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Resident of the Month: Wendell P.

Our Resident of the Month is Wendell P. (also goes by Archie)

Wendell was born in rural Knox County, Illinois on March 19, 1925 to John and Anna Plym. He had 5 brothers and 4 sisters: Wilson, Donald, Leroy, Wayne, Dale, Lorain, Bernice, Mary Ann and May.

Wendell met his wife, Betty, in Woodhall, Illinois where she was a waitress. They were married January 15 (not sure of the year). They had 5 children: Steve, Doug, Gary, Allen and Diane.

His first job was at a cheese factory in Towanda, Illinois. He worked for a pipeline company for 17 years and covered all of Iowa and some of Missouri and Kansas. He then worked for 19 years at the Hampton Inn on Fleur Drive in Des Moines.

His most memorable event growing up was graduating high school in 1943 and going into the Navy. He was trained to be an air gunner and thankfully never had to use it. He was stationed in Hawaii, California, Engabe Island, Carolina Islands and Falalop Islands. Also memorable was living through the Great Depression when he was 5 years old. His family lost everything and had to find a place to live.

Wendell learned to drive when he was 12 years old and he taught himself in an old Model T car. His first vehicle was a truck.

His favorite food is fried chicken and favorite holiday meal is turkey.

When Wendell was younger, he like to go hunting. He hunted lots of rabbits! Now he enjoys listening to all sports on TV.

He says what he likes most about Norwalk Nursing and Rehabilitation is the activities. He likes to plan Bingo with staff and peers.

His advice for the younger generation is to study hard. You need your schooling! If you don’t make grades you will be sitting in the hallway looking out the window at your friends practicing sports.

Wendell says his most cherished family tradition is just being together as a family. No matter the weather or holiday, everyone came back to the old farm house.

Wendell has great memories of his mother and father. They taught him that no matter how tough things were, they always had 3 meals and a roof over their heads. The 4th of July, and all holidays, they had lots of company. All his brothers and sisters and their kids would come back to the old farm house. His dad would go into town and buy a 60 lb. block of ice and fill a tub with pop and beer for picnics and holidays.

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